Although the burn-out isn’t a medical condition, but rather a collection of symptoms which lead to negative emotions about work, it is still very important to recognize it in the early stages and try to avoid it.
If this is not your first day of work at your first job, it is very probable that you have already heard about burn-out or might have even experienced one. Burn-out is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress and even the World Health Organization has recognized it and included it as an occupational phenomenon.
Burn-out should not be confused with stress because there is a significant difference. Stress involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much from you, both physically and mentally. However, stressed workers feel that if they could just get everything under control, they would feel much better. On the other hand, burn-out is about not enough: not enough motivation and lack of care about work tasks and challenges.
The first step in dealing with burn-out is to recognize either early symptoms of a burn-out or to accept the fact that you have already burnt-out and try to overcome it.
There is a popular "Three R" approach when you are dealing with a burn-out:
Burn-out is a very common and very serious problem in the IT industry. It all starts with a small episode when you have a lack of motivation and passion for working and eventually it progresses to the more serious state of complete loss of motivation and desire to work.
Every person is hit differently by the burn-out, but most of the symptoms are shared across many workers. To help you detect them, ask yourself:
If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might be experiencing burn-out and you should deal with it right away.
Burn-out can be caused by both your work-related staff and by your lifestyle traits. Not only are the workers who feel overworked and undervalued at risk of a burn-out, but also a person who has many out-of-work responsibilities.
Some of the work-related causes are:
Some of the lifestyle-related causes are:
You have detected the symptoms of the burn-out, now it is time to fight it off.
One of the first steps to fight burn-out is to turn to other people. Have you ever been in a situation when the problem you had seemed huge and unsolvable until you talked to someone about it? The same thing is with burn-out.
One of the best ways to change your view about your work is to attach your work efforts to something you value. It can be anything that you enjoy doing. Notice how your work makes something in the world, the culture, or in other people’s lives better.
If you are having difficulties in finding value in your work, and switching jobs currently isn't the option, try to find satisfaction somewhere else in your life, outside your work. Spend more time doing the things you like, focus on the parts of life which bring you joy.
Burn-out is a sign that something which is important for you is not working out as you wish. Take some time and rethink what is important to you and try to focus on accomplishing it. Learn to say no to certain requests and by doing this you will have more time to focus on the things you want to accomplish.
A great way to ensure some time for thinking is to take a daily break from technology. Every day, for some time put away your laptop and your phone and stop checking if there are any new notifications.
Also, to have a clear head when you are thinking about important things in your life, make sure to have enough sleep. You do not want to make important decisions about your life when your brain doesn't function well because you haven't slept well in days.
Prevention is better than cure. We must have heard this a million times and yet, we usually do not react until it's too late. When you start feeling or recognizing symptoms of a burn-out, that means it is too late and that you have missed an opportunity to prevent it.
Not only is regular exercise a good way to relieve stress, but it also gets you away from your desk and doing something other than work. Therefore, try to make exercise a priority even on days when you don't feel like doing anything. One theory says that physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which can improve mood. Also, over time, you will feel more energized at work and more satisfied with yourself.
Another huge factor in preventing burn-out is a healthy diet. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and minimize sugar and refined carbs. By eating healthy, your energy levels will rise, and you won't feel tired and sleepy after lunch. Eating healthier isn't the only part of the healthy diet, moderate consumption of alcohol and keeping away from nicotine and cigarettes also plays an important role.
Although it may sound atypical, several research studies have indicated that practicing mindfulness meditation can prevent burnout and this is something that is also worth trying as it can also help reduce stress and anxiety.
Feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, and isolation from friends and family members can be some of the signs of a burn-out.
Burn-out can be avoided by making self-care part of your daily routine.
It is hard to follow all the instructions because the day only has so many hours and it can be difficult to fit everything into a daily routine, but occasional fulfillment of the instructions is still better than none. Give it some time and you will be amazed by the positive results and improvements in your life.